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DT 28635 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28635 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

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As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, an assortment of clues, including some of the more difficult ones, have been selected and hints provided for them.

Most of the terms used in these hints are explained in the Glossary and examples are available by clicking on the entry under “See also”. Where the hint describes a construct as “usual” this means that more help can be found in The Usual Suspects, which gives a number of the elements commonly used in the wordplay. Another useful page is Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing, which features words with meanings that are not always immediately obvious.

A full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submissions.

Some hints follow.


1a    I overacted terribly with embellishments (10)
An anagram (terribly) of I OVERACTED

14a    Charming computer pioneer losing head after everything (8)
The surname of the computer pioneer largely credited with cracking the Enigma code without (losing) his initial letter (head) preceded by (after) a word meaning everything

15a    Wimp keeping theologian in union (6)
A wimp around (keeping) the qualification associated with a theologian

17a    Bets on first races (6)
A verb meaning bets or wagers preceded by (first) a word meaning on or about

19a    Puddings one gets anxious about (8)
A word which is the reversal of another word is commonly known as a semordnilap (palindromes reversed) and there is a list of the most common in The Mine – one such is the reversal (about) of an adjective meaning anxious to give some puddings or sweets, and one way or another it comes up frequently

21a    Bland heir to the throne’s gripping performance — monarch (13)
The first name of the current heir to the throne and the S from ‘S around (gripping) a performance and the regnal cipher for a monarch who happens to be his mother

25a    Get smart advertising demon (5)
A two-letter abbreviation for advertising followed by a demon

26a    Bird no longer around pair of gulls (4)
A verb meaning to gull followed by the same (pair of) gives an extinct bird

27a    Go and allow to swallow new sweet (10)
Go or energy followed by a verb meaning to allow around (to swallow) N(ew)


1d    Likes lodgings (4)
Two definitions – a colloquial word for likes and lodgings, typically for students or actors

3d    Fruit producer gets show of disapproval — switch (9,4)
A show of disapproval followed by a switch or rod

4d    Abdominal jewellery on view in scrobatics (8)
Now updated – Abdominal jewellery on view in acrobatics (8)
Split as (3,5) this could be some flashy abdominal jewellery – [the website is currently showing scrobatics as the definition but I am reasonably certain this should be acrobatics – now updated]

5d    Dave almost OK drunk — with this? (5)
… despite the clue, my tipple is Single Malt Whisky!

11d    One complaining must accept maybe dog’s little cleaner (6-7)
A six-letter word meaning someone who complains is split around a domestic animal, such as a dog, the S from ‘S and a word of Scottish origin meaning little

13d    Created debt Africa is suffering (10)
… either created or “is suffering “could indicate this anagram!

16d    Father eating bit of cereal with doctor — that’s sweet (4,4)
A three-letter colloquial word for father around (eating) a bit of a cereal plant and D(octo)R

22d    Fine material gives Jethro ecstasy (5)
Whether you take Jethro as the English agriculturist credited with inventing the seed drill or the band (named after him) that featured Ian Anderson on vocals, you get the same four-letter word – follow this with E(cstasy)

23d    Raise suggestions for means to roast meat (4)
The reversal (raise in a down clue) of some suggestions (like these!)

The Crossword Club is now open.

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As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT, or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES in your comment. If in doubt, leave it out!

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The Quick Crossword pun: purr+pulp+hatch=purple patch

61 comments on “DT 28635 (Hints)

  1. A perfect Saturday prize puzzle (apart from a spelling error in the clue for 4d at the time of solving on-line) boringly completed at a gallop with the assistance of some oldies but goodies, 19a and 11d for example – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 19a, 4d (in spite of the aforementioned spelling error), and 16d – and the winner is the OBG 19a – a perfect pair of words!

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  2. I rather enjoyed this crossword and once I’d seen through the typo in 4d it had me smiling along with 11d – actually 11d made me laugh out loud 😂
    Thanks to the setter and BD as usual for his sterling work.

    1. I don’t think I’d seen 11d before but the old ones are allegedly the best. I think my ageing cat has added a certain topicality to this clue for me 😩😺

  3. Standard Saturday work-out.
    Paper also shows scrobatics – any suggestions for a definition?
    Thanks to setter and BD

  4. A lot of fun. Thank you setter and BD. Always forget anxious in 19a. Fav was 4d (overlooking time spent trying to fathom scrobatics) with 8d runner-up. 17a was a bung-in. Never heard of Jethro in 22d.

    1. Driving home from Winchester yesterday it was the only CD we had in the car. After three hours the long suffering Mrs Tub started to find it a bit wearing.

    2. I thought he was a comedian, so I looked on line and got the answer. I also was unfamiliar with the answer for 25a (at my age -goes to show…) Completed without hints, for once, -last in was 19a, an excellent clue which I expected to be something obscure! A good crossword for once with few anagrams, and a blessing if you are into sweet things, unlike me! Thanks to BD and compiler..

      1. Jethro without the **** is indeed a comedian, of the Cornish variety, famed (in our household at least) for a very good, but utterly unpublishable, story about a man who takes a duck into the cinema at Penzance.
        Good puzzle, but shame about the typo which followed a missing ellipsis (in the print version) yesterday. Ah, well, you can’t get the staff, I suppose.

  5. Very enjoyable for a miserable Saturday morning. Several good clues but 19a gets my vote for the top of the podium. Comfortable to solve and plenty of fun along the way so 2* /4* from me overall.

    Thanks indeed to the setter and BD. The biggest challenge of the day is deciding which rugby matches to watch this afternoon and evening.

  6. No real hold ups for me in this thoroughly enjoyable Saturday work out. Not being a betting person I had to think hard about the terminology for 17a. I did wonder whether the word in 4d was a discipline I’d never heard of, but it was easily solvable from the wordplay and checking letters.

    Many thanks to the setter and BD

  7. Nice crossword I managed to complete without the hints but they are still appreciated BD.
    11d last in andties with 3d as my COTD.
    The “some” part of 7d is a bit dodgy IMO as it could be part or all and I have an answer for 21a but not sure what heirs or monarchs have to do with it -correction I see the heir and monarch now.
    Thanks to all.

  8. I didn’t notice the typo – it could be a case of seeing what you expect to see or I could blame the fact that the light bulb above my head had just ‘died’

  9. Like the other contributors who’ve made mention of the typo in 4d, I too was amused by ‘scrobatics’ but, just to make sure, I actually looked in Chambers to see if there was a definition for the ‘word’… 26a will undoubtedly cause some head-scratching for newer cruciverbalists but, as Dave has pointed out, ‘gull’ isn’t a noun, it’s a verb and, once seen, will never be forgotten. This puzzle was thoroughly enjoyable and I’ve already submitted the solution online.

  10. I also enjoyed this one, many of the clues made me smile, I have not come across 11d before but I liked it, I filled in 26a but was puzzled as I have not heard that definition of the word before.
    Glad I wasn’t the only one to look up the typo Aljanon

    Thanks to BD, the team and the setter.

  11. Don’t recall seeing 19a before but guess I must have done given its designation as one of the ‘oldies but goodies’. Earned a tick from me – as did 17a because my initial reading of the clue left me thinking I had one letter in my answer that had not been accounted for in the wordplay.

    8d gets a mention for being such a delicious word with 4d taking the honours for the loud laugh it produced.

    Thanks to Mr Saturday Ron and to BD for the club.

  12. Over too quickly but enjoyable all the same. Favourites 19 21 25 and 27a and 18d. Temporarily flummoxed by the typing error in 4d. 25a last one in. Very wet and windy here in St Mawes – may be an effort to venture out to the pub.

    1. Apparently, scrobes are small grooves at the base of the antenna in such creatures as weevils or on the outer surface of a mandible. So – perhaps scrobatics refers to those facial exercises designed to reduce the appearance of ‘laughter lines’?

      1. Interesting, Jane – I have learned something today.

        I asked my friend for ideas and he suggested an acrobatic form of housework. Rather cleaner than my own thoughts …

      2. “Scrobis” is, of course, Latin for “ditch”. So scrobatics refers to the ancient custom of trench-jumping practised in certain Warwickshire villages on the 3rd Saturday after Easter.

  13. Thank you BD for the hints. Yes fairly easy but enjoyable…4d – paper had typo, won wood half thought the tellygraf proof reeders wood have picked it up!
    19a made me smile. I love that the fear of palindromes is aibohphobia
    Has anyone here ever won a pen or notebook?

    1. Your question has been asked so many times it probably deserves its own place in the Frequently Answered Questions page

      You’ll find that as the afternoon progresses a number of people will turn up to tell you that they have indeed won a prize.

        1. I’ve won the on-line Telegraph Puzzles site crossword competition three times – twice in a weekly draw and once in a monthly draw

          1. I won one Saturday, more than 3 years ago – an Amazon voucher. Would have preferred a pen though. Always send in Sat&Sun on line versions and live in hope ( Hathersage, actually, next village along the Hope Valley!). Think Premium Bonds or the Lottery would be a better bet.

            1. There’s a saying, common in your neck of the woods, that goes something like: Live in Hope, die in Castleton.

          2. Cor! Well done…There is still hope. I want to win one to give to a dear friend who loves the crossword

  14. A gentle stroll for a saturday usually i struggle with the prize one. For some reason this fell into place.Am I at last getting the hang of this.
    Thanks to setter and BD

  15. Hi
    Very enjoyable,thank goodness we’ve now escaped festive clues!
    Cannot get my head around end of 3D though!
    Thank you for your witty help as always

  16. This was all over so quickly, I will now have to go on the walk I declined because I’d be busy doing the crossword. I’m trying to work up enthusiasm. Thank you setter and BD. I have ticked 4d so that must be my favourite.

      1. Thank you for the suggestion. I’ve started it and saved it to go back to. Rather than go on the walk I’ve promised cakes so spending time in the kitchen.

  17. I cannot say that I found this puzzle gentle, but I got there in the end without external help which is all that matters to me.

    Could not parse 17a though it had to be what it is, so special thanks to Big Dave for that.

    In fact, special thanks to Big Dave and his hench-persons for everything they do.

    Thanks to the setter.

  18. Over all too quickly. My favourite was 19a which a young boy on Vancouver Island wants to call a levidrome. The OED and Merriiam-Webster are considering if it gets enough support which has included a thumbs up from William Shatner no less. Thanks to the setter and BD.

  19. I found this extremely tricky, but I shot myself in the foot by leaving out a letter in 1a, this meant I didn’t have the first letter for the top downs – if that makes sense. My eyes are getting so bad, I’m making too many mistakes.
    Thanks to our Saturday setter and to BD for his hints.

  20. Enjoyable puzzle reasonably easy in parts trickier in other areas. East side the more difficult for me. After much head scratching realised the typo in 4d but did not look at the blog until puzzle completed, so nice to be confirmed by BD. Guess it happens now and again?

    Clue of the day 21a

    Rating 2.5* / 3.5*

    Thanks to BD and the setter.

  21. A very good crossword I thought – just right for a late Saturday afternoon having been to see the Elder Lamb, partner and baby.
    I was stupidly slow with some of the easier clues – 6, 9 and 25a – no excuse for any of them and it took me ages to understand 17a.
    There were some good anagrams, 10a in particular – oh, and 5d!
    Special mentions go to 9 and 21a and 4 and 22d. My favourite was 8d.
    Thanks to today’s setter and to BD.
    Off to have a go at the NTSPP – wish I had the will-power to keep it for tomorrow but I haven’t.

  22. 3* / 2.5*. I thought this was a really mixed bag – partly enjoyable, partly spoilt both by some dreadful surfaces (including 12a, 21a, 3d, 8d & 11d and more) and it was a shame about the typing error in 4d. The LHS went straight in but the RHS was much more challenging with my overall time coming out at 3*.

    Many thanks to the setter and to BD.

  23. First time this week that I have caught up to date with the blog! A very nice crossword for a Saturday with a good selection of clues. 19a was a prime example, but 4d was my stand out. 2/4* overall.
    Thanks to the Saturday man and to BD for the hints.

  24. I agree with Kath above, a perfect late Saturday puzzle.
    There were lots of great clues , including 12a , 21a and 27a.
    Thanks to BD and the setter.
    Murky damp weather here and it seems everybody has a bad flu though when I had it , I called it a heavy cold.

    1. It was obviously not ‘man ‘flu’ then?! Cold or ‘flu it has stayed with me for more than a month.

      1. Welcome to my world. Persistent Rhinitis for well over a year now. Consultant appointment on Feb 15th

  25. All good fun, finished in about ** time. Good to see a modernish pop reference and also a computer scientist get a mention. :-)

  26. Good Saturday crossword, everything that needs to be said has been said, except that I won the online prize some months back.
    Hoping for a better day with Virgilius tomorrow.
    Thanks BD and Mr.Ron.

  27. I really couldn’t get my head round this puzzle yesterday, having pithered about trying to make some sense of ‘scrobatics’, but on reading BD’s words of wisdom this morning and electronically checking 12a, I went through the remainder of the clues like the proverbial ‘dose of salts’. Along the way I also discoved that ‘gull’ isn’t just a bird. All good fun and most enjoyable too. Thanks to the setter and to BD for his enlightenment.

  28. As Mr Matt, I had trouble with the second word of 3d. Didn’t know where these things grew.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints.

  29. I really enjoyed this one – much better than than average Sat Prize offering. 4d was easily parsable from the word play, but I spent ages trying to find the misspelt definition “scrobatics” in any reference book. 3* / 4*.

  30. I must be the last to finish this crossword, but time ran out this weekend as I was helping someone move house. I thought it was reasonably challenging as the NE corner was the last to be completed – I had the answers to all of BD’s tips, which was reassuring, but none for the ones he left out! 11d and 21a were favourites. I realised 4d was a typo when I looked up scrobatics, and then it fell into place. Like Shropshirebloke I have found a new meaning for gull. Satisfying now its complete.

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